Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue 2
=> Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
=> Important News and Useful Links - AMCAS 2002,
Dr. Cohen AAMC Admissions Reform?, and Rural Medicine
=> Dates and Reminders - CUHRE Conference in San
=> Important People and Schools - Cornell University
=> Success Story of the Month - Re-application
=> Question of the Month - Why Official Transcripts?
=> Focus on a Health Profession - Primary Care
=> Our Services
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
Congratulations to the Class of 2001 advised by Dr. Lewis!
We had 94% acceptance for our premedical applicants all over the U.S.!
Happy New Year! Can you believe it is already 2002? We remember when
the "Millenium Bug" was a concern to the computer world. In
fact, we remember a lot farther back than that -but suffice it to say
that time marches on. Do you make resolutions? If you want to change
your career or reach your career goal, but do not know how to begin
or how to jump all those hurdles, Lewis Associates can implement strategies
that will change your life.
Developing YOU to your potential is our goal, and people are our "most
important product." Dr. Cynthia Lewis has been advising Pre-health
students with an overall acceptance rate of 85% since 1985. Lewis Associates
was launched in 1998 to provide long-term personalized advising services
to students across North America, specializing in Medicine, Osteopathic
Medicine, Dentistry, Physician Assistant and Veterinary Medicine. Our
success is real. You may be like our Advisees-highly motivated and intelligent,
but needing focus, guidance and specific technical expertise. Dr. Lewis
is a trained biologist, having taught and directed her own research
programs for many years at two universities. She received two postdoctoral
fellowships (one at NIH) and received the 1990 NACADA Outstanding Institutional
Advising Program in the U.S. She teaches Professionalism, Leadership
and Quality and sets high standards for her Advisees.
n e w s a n d l i n k s
N E W S :
"Emotionally bruised, but still together, AMCAS
achieves 30th Anniversary with Partner medical schools"
Begun as an application service in 1971, the American Medical College
Application Service (AMCAS) has assisted its 116 partner schools and
programs with applications to 30 entering classes and literally hundreds
of thousands of applicants
While relationships between AMCAS and its partner medical schools have
generally been stable over time, and sometimes even happy, mature observers
can recall some rough patches through the years. There was the "seven
year itch" - in 1978 - that resulted in serious, in-depth, and
ultimately successful therapy during the application cycle for the 1979
entering class. And, of course, this part year when AMCAS, in the middle
of a mid-life crisis, gave itself what it believed would be a performance-enhancing
Web-based make-over, conflict has been caused, both in the community
and at home. Promises were made, but were difficult to keep. Mindful
of its reputation, the pain that has been caused, and the need to return
to fulfilling its partners' expectations, AMCAS has again seen the need
for a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and a course of serious therapy
with experts in the field. The arduous self-assessment process has begun,
and AMCAS has resolved to both improve its future performance and repair
its long-standing and trusting relationships with partner institutions
Above reported in the AAMC Group on Student Affairs Hot Topics Newspaper
Report from AMCAS-Statistics for Class of 2002 Nancy Tillinghast, Director
AMCAS Status Report Data (11/23/01)
Number of Persons initiating applications on-line: 42,224
Number of Applicants submitting completed applications to AMCAS: 30,549
Number of applicants for whom application(s) have been verified: 24,918
Number of Applicants for whom verified applications have been printed
and FedExed to medical schools: 16,050
Average number of schools applied to per applicant: 11
The applicant numbers for 2001 recently released by the AAMC represent
the *national* applicant pool(applicants to non-AMCAS schools as well
as AMCAS schools). Looking at AMCAS applicants only, the comparative
data for applications is as follows:
32,128 as of 12/1/2000
30,962 as of 11/30/2001
1,166 decline (3.6 per cent)
"Dr. Cohen Proposes Medical Education Reforms"
AAMC President Jordan J. Cohen, M.D., included in his address to the
112th AAMC Annual Meeting:
"To entice the best and the brightest students in the nation to
consider a career in medicine, Dr. Cohen offered a plan to alter the
way medical schools currently choose their incoming classes" A
way which, according to Dr. Cohen, over-emphasizes test scores and under-emphasizes
personal characteristics. Dr. Cohen suggested that schools begin student
screening with an assessment of personal characteristics, use standardized
test scores only as threshold measures, and use past experiences to
improve their ability to identify promising students.
Dr. Cohen also enjoined the medical education community to examine
carefully the manner in which it acculturates students and residents
to medical practice. "No matter how successful we are in attracting
idealistic, properly motivated students to medicine now or in the future,"
said Dr. Cohen, "we have little hope of delivering the same number
of idealistic, properly motivated doctors to society unless we can close
the gap between rhetoric and reality."
Source: Nicole Henderson, AAMC Office of Communications, http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/pressrel/011104a.htm.
L I N K S :
Rural Medicine Website
Compilation of items of interest to students hoping to become rural
doctors. Dr. Bowman indicates that he will soon add email questions
from medical students with answers by rural physicians and faculty.
There is advice there for premeds, college students, and medical students.
Robert C. Bowman, M.D, email@example.com
Co-Chairman, Rural Medical Educators Group of the National Rural Health
Assn, UNMC Dept of Family Medicine, Director of Rural Health Education
d a t e s
C O N F E R E N C E S:
(HCOP) CUHRE 12th Annual Alumni Conference: "Communication
February 9th, 2002, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Casa Real, Aztec Center, San Diego State University
Register with Chris Scott, Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cost: $10 non-CUHRE member, lunch included. First 100 students will
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ted Ganiats is professor and
vice-chair of the department of family and preventive medicine at the
UCSD School of Medicine and the Executive Director of the UCSD Health
Outcomes Assessment Program. Dr. Ganiats did his undergraduate work
at UC Davis and all of his medical training at UC San Diego. He has
been the Chief of the UCSD Division of Family Medicine and has chaired
the Commission on Clinical Policies and Research for the American Academy
of Family Physicians. He has participated on over 20 national clinical
practice guidelines with over 100 publications. His main research interests
are in quality of life measurement and cost-effectiveness.
Confirmed speakers include:
Theodore Miller, M.D. Associate Dean for Admissions
and Student Affairs, Drew-UC Los Angeles School of Medicine
Raymond Hruby, D.O. Chair, Osteopathic Manipulative
Medicine Department, Western University of Health Sciences
Eric Goldlust, M.D. PhD candidate at UC San Diego School
of Medicine, Kaplan Representative
Charles Lu (Alumnus) Medical Student Year 4, UC San
Francisco School of Medicine
Donna Ni (Alumna Medical Student Year 2, Western University,
College of Osteopathic Medicine
Norma Ramirez (Alumna) Dental Student Year 2, Case
Western University Dental School
Karen Babcock Nern, M.D. (Alumna) Dermatology Resident
year 3 at UC San Diego
Robert Carpenter, D.O. (Alumnus), Naval Flight Surgeon
Physician TBA from St. George's University School of
p e o p l e & s c h o o l s
C O R N E L L U N I V E R S I T Y Medical School
Cornell Will Open a Medical School in the Persian
New York Times - "In one of the biggest deals yet in
the growing export of American higher education, Cornell University
is establishing a branch campus of its medical school in the Middle
East, where students will receive the same diploma as those 6,700 miles
away in New York City. Cornell announced that it will create the Weill
Medical College of Cornell University in Qatar, a tiny, wealthy Persian
Gulf nation that has agreed to spend $750 million on the school over
11 years, including a fee to Cornell."
"Cornell's medical college is among the most selective in the
United States. This year's entering students -101 in all&Mac246; were
chosen from 6,344 applicants and had a 3.7 grade point average on their
science courses in college. Cornell is aiming for an entering class
of about 50 students in Qatar, drawn from there and other countries,
within the Arab world and without."
s u c c e s s s t o r y
A M A N D A H O W E L L - Entering Class
Dr. Lewis' Note: Amanda is the youngest of three children.
She has lived all over the Pacific Islands, Hawaii and in California.
In an essay she once wrote she says, "I was skimming through an
article, in Time magazine about multiracial children in America.
I thought finally, people are starting to realize there are many kids
who do not fit the 'White,' 'Black,' 'Hispanic' or 'Asian' categories.
When I get to the question about racial background, I hesitate every
time, deciding whether to fill in the 'White,' 'Pacific Islander,' or
'Other' box. Being Samoan, German, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish. I keep
asking the question, 'What are you Amanda?'"
In Fiji, Amanda's love for learning was ignited at a
British Chinese School named Yat Sen where she studied two years of
Chinese. At Yat Sen she says, "I learned one of my most valuable
lessons: "No whining allowed; do what you have to do." I had
this revelation while I was cleaning the toilets of my school. Yes,
the toilets! Yat Sen had only a few maintenance men to tend to the school.
All the janitorial and classroom cleaning was done by the students.
The students in the primary school were separated into cleaning teams
that rotated from cleaning the toilets, picking up weeds, or cleaning
the classroom, including mopping. In America, this practice would be
illegal, but at Yat Sen it is common. Hard work like that made me tougher."
Ever since having her appendix removed as a small child
in Hawaii, Amanda wanted to become a doctor. She graduated in Spring
2000 Magna Cum Laude in chemistry. Amanda's extracurricular activities
demonstrated strong motivation to become a physician. She volunteered
for ICU duty at one hospital and in a pediatrics wards in another. She
worked in Mexico with the Flying Samaritans and as a phlebotomy technician.
Thus, Amanda is knowledgeable about aspects of medical practice. She
held a number of offices in student organizations and conducted tutorial
sessions to help younger pre-health students master their classes. She
did all of these activities while holding down jobs and conducting a
chemistry senior research project. She even acted in a summer play.
Her words give you a real sense of who Amanda is: "It was cloudy
and windy, the day the International Outrigger Canoe competition took
place in Suva Harbor, Fiji. After winning the 500-meter race, my team
was sitting in our canoe awaiting the start signal for the 1000-meter
race. Sitting in the middle called the engine, I extended my arm so
my paddle could achieve the greatest pull distance. While feeling the
cold air hit my face and tasting the salt on my lips, my heart was racing.
The signal came and the race was on."
Reapplying -- Agony and Hope by Amanda Howell
"When it came to reapplying to medical school a second time, it
was a no-brainer for me. Of course I would reapply! Since, I graduated
in June 2000, I had a whole year to reapply and do other fun stuff.
My happy beginning to reapplying, though, turned out to be a few months
filled with feelings of agony and hope.
As a freshman in college, I studied hard, volunteered, and became a
leader in Collegiate Union for Health-Related Education. I thought with
my great grades, experience living in Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Saipan, and
Hawaii, and my extra-curricular activities, I was all set to apply to
all the top schools in the nation. However, the MCAT showed me different.
Taking the MCAT two times was trying on my psyche and on my body (late
night Flammin' Hot Cheetos and Pepsi don't just dissipate into thin
air). The MCAT proved to be my Achilles Heel. When applying, my high
GPA juxtaposed against the average MCAT scores drew red flags from admissions
offices. The first time, the 30 schools that I applied to did not invite
me to one interview. Well, without any hesitation, I steamed ahead,
reapplied (with Dr. Lewis' help) and took the MCAT for a third time.
The routine the second time around was familiar, but more taxing on
my emotions. Some days, I had unwavering hope, the others--agony. However,
my year off afforded an opportunity of free time to pursue other interests.
These new pursuits and accomplishments I included, under the guidance
and insistence of Dr. Lewis, in an update letter to the admissions committees.
These other interests, like writing a screenplay, broadened my perspective.
I saw something new in myself that intrigued the admissions committees.
I got four interviews and was waitlisted at two schools. I waited for
three months, not knowing what was to become of my life. Prayer, faith,
and a resolve that all will work out, helped me get through those trying
months. When the window of opportunity was closing, I made plans to
reapply in another two years, or apply to grad school or find a "Bio-Tech"
job, all the while hoping for acceptance to medical school. The window
eventually closed on August 14th and I was in agony. All my dreams,
all my hard work was for nothing. Well, so I had thought. At the end
of August, 2001, I was accepted to Medical College of Wisconsin with
a one-year deferral. The year of applying a second time was hard, but
what I learned about myself remains priceless.
I encourage those who did not get in the first time to try again. Life
is long, don't give up too easily or too quickly!"
q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
Why order and review an "official"
copy of your transcript(s) before submitting your application?
We have a very good example this year of what can "go wrong".
One of our applicants for the dental school entering class of 2002 attended
one school for his entire undergraduate degree, then took one course
at another school as an unclassified post baccalaureate student. He
earned an A in that last class - or so the faculty told him. It was
a team-taught class, with three faculty, each giving and grading an
exam. One exam was missing and the final grade was given verbally to
the student by one of the faculty. The grade came out an an "Incomplete"
on the transcript (either because the faculty did not submit it or due
to an error by the Admissions and Records Office). However, the student
assumed that the faculty had "told him the correct information
about his grade". And, he put "A" on his AADSAS application
form. He was very surprised when Dr. Lewis in discussing his application
with a dental school was told that the transcript had and "I"
and the AADSAS indicated an "A". So, don't take any chances!!!
We will feature an important question each month. Please
submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions
h e a l t h p r o f e s s i o n
P R I M A R Y C A R E M E D I C I N
"My concept of medical school is changing. It seems
that students can hold up so far, before they cave in and go for more
limited areas of medicine, such as a subspecialty. As medical education
continues to face challenges from changes in care of the indigent and
liability problems, there is less access to patients and students do
not get to make decisions. This passive education keeps students from
maturing and advancing in medicine. More mature and advanced students
will see the importance of physician relationships with patients and
populations and the powers that be. Less mature students carve out a
smaller niche with a defined subset of knowledge and relationships.
Primary care is more challenging. Cures are usually not possible, or
rare. Long-term care is common. Successes are often unseen and un-rewarded.
Students who choose primary care are usually older, married, etc. Primary
care has a very small part of the medical curricula- so small as to
actually overwhelm students. It takes 6 months of primary care rotations
to become comfortable with it in studies in students spending 9 months
in their M-3 year in rural Minnesota. At 3 months these students were
overwhelmed with the complexity of primary care. Most medical schools
a lot closer to 3 months and almost none come close to the minimal 6
months noted in the study (Verby, RPAP, Minnesota).
Overall cancer mortality dropped for the first time in studies by the
National Cancer Institute and reported in Primary Care and Cancer Jan
1997. These studies noted a 2.6% drop in mortality in a 5 year period.
The report attributes much of the success in reducing cancer to declines
in smoking beginning in 1965. All of these are wonderful advances and
yet the reason for improvements are not cures, but changes in lifestyle.
The front lines for cancer (and heart disease, adolescent health problems,
mental health, etc.) are not cures and specialists and research. The
front lines are primary care people who deal with deferred gratification,
care for the elderly, do mental health, etc.
COGME studies continue to note that these are the specialties in most
need in medicine. Considering that we do not select for these in medical
students, this is not a surprise. Things like emotional IQ are more
difficult to measure, short of trained interviews and more detailed
gathering of info from direct observers of the students qualities.
In many ways, I really like college advisors as an objective resource
for helping to determine these qualities and I wish that more medical
schools worked in collaboration with college advisors to help them choose
better forks, those with service orientation, emotional IQ, and have
passed the tests of deferred gratification."
Robert C. Bowman, M.D, email@example.com
Co-Chairman, Rural Medical Educators Group of the National Rural Health
Assn, UNMC Dept of Family Medicine Director of Rural Health Education
Lewis Associates specializes in personal, effective and professional
premedical advising and placement for traditional and non-traditional
applicants. Often, non-traditional students are older than 21 years
of age, career changers, international applicants or second-round applicants
for admission to health professions school.
Lewis Associates' services meet the needs of all types of students from
pre-applicants to applicants, including hourly advising support for
specific needs. Click
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